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Australian assistance for tsunami rehabilitation

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AA73 3 August 1998


Australia will provide assistance with resettlement and rehabilitation activities for victims of the Papua New Guinea tsunami disaster.

Australians have responded quickly and generously to the plight of those affected by the tsunami. We have done so as good neighbours and because of the close and long­ standing relationship between our two countries. Immediate relief needs are now well in hand.

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Mr Bill Skate, expressed his thanks for Australia’s quick and effective response during his meetings with the Prime Minister and myself today. ΤΖ0

The Prime Minister announced earlier today that, in addition to the relief assistance already provided, Australia will provide further assistance for rehabilitation work in Sandaun province.

Australia will provide assistance to ensure the following needs are met: building schools and health centres and ensuring they are accessible for disabled persons; providing medical support, especially orthopaedic and orthotic support for survivors with amputations; agriculture and fisheries programs to rebuild the local economy; rebuilding communities in new areas; upgrading and repairs to roads; support for earthquake monitoring and geological survey work; and assistance with planning.

Australia will provide additional assistance of in the order of $1 million, building on the $2 million expended through the aid program on immediate relief efforts. This assistance is over and above the current agreed Development Cooperation Treaty level.

The Australian Government will also contribute to rehabilitation activities through existing and planned development assistance projects. A number of projects are already in progress in Sandaun Province and can be adjusted, in consultation with the Government of Papua New Guinea, to respond to the needs of people affected by the tsunami disaster.

Australia’s assistance will carefully targeted in line with needs assessments which are currently being undertaken. It will be coordinated with the PNG Government’s own rehabilitation efforts and with assistance provided by other donors in order to avoid any duplication of efforts.

Media contacts: Innes Willox (Minister’s office) 02 6277 7500 / 0419 206890 Matt Francis (AusAID) 02 6206 4967 / 0417 683 126